22 Wing North Bay, also known as the Canadian Air Defence Sector (CADS), is responsible for providing surveillance, identification, control and warning for the aerospace defence of Canada and North America at the Sector Air Operations Centre.
This surveillance and identification of all air traffic approaching North America (some 200,000 flights per year) is accomplished using radar information received via satellite from the North Warning System across the Canadian Arctic, coastal radars on the east and west coasts of Canada, and Airborne Warning and Control System Aircraft.
All Aircraft penetrating this radar coverage are detected and identified by the personnel of 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron (AC&W Sqn), who are always on guard 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Unidentified Aircraft, Aircraft in distress, or Aircraft suspected of conducting illegal activities may be intercepted by CF-18 fighters.
Critical information on air sovereignty events is forwarded to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, where it is in turn passed on to the command authorities, the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada, to decide on the appropriate responses.
Due to this binational nature of the NORAD agreement, some 33 American personnel belonging to the USAF's 1 Air Force Detachment 2 in the Canadian Sector Air Operations (SAOC). Training of the personnel who perform the air sovereignty mission is done by 51 AC&W (Operational Training) Squadron, an integral unit of 22 Wing.
The Royal Canadian Air Force 22 (Fighter) Wing was formed on 9 January 1944 in Ayr, Scotland, under Group Captain P.Y. Davoud, DSO, DFC.
Throughout the years, 22 Wing North Bay was reformed several times: from 1 April 1947 to 30 November 1949 as 22 (Photographic) Wing in Rockliffe, Ontario; from 15 December 1953 to 1 April 1957 as 22 (Auxiliary) Wing at London, Ontario; and, as 22 Radar Control Wing at North Bay, Ontario (formerly the home of the 22nd NORAD Region), on 2 June 1989.
In 1933, North Bay was selected by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) as the Ontario Regional Office for the construction of emergency landing fields.
With the outbreak of World War II, RCAF North Bay became an auxiliary training base and base for ferrying Liberator and Lancaster bombers across the Atlantic.
The base closed at the end of the war and reopened in 1951, first as a flying school, then as a fighter base where it became home to 430 Day (Fighter) Squadron and 445 and 414 All Weather (Fighter) Squadrons.
In 1959, construction began on an underground complex and the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) which was completed in 1962. Air Defence Command Headquarters was established and 446 Surface-to-Air Missile Squadron with BOMARC missiles was manned until 1973.
On 1 April 1966, RCAF Station North Bay was officially designated Canadian Forces Base (CFB) North Bay. It was the home of 414 (Electronic Warfare) Squadron from 1972 until 1992.
With the restructure of Air Command on 1 April 1993, it was renamed 22 Wing and, in 1994, celebrated its 50th anniversary as a formation.